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A Tale of Two Cooks - 2023 Women's History Month Tribute

Updated: Mar 26, 2023




As Women’s History Month draws to a close, it would be remiss of me not to celebrate these two culinary stars!

In February, I had the great honor and pleasure speaking with and getting to know Chef Roslyn Spence, Chef Instructor at Los Angeles Trade Technical College and the daughter of Chef Edith Bell. We had a delightful conversation. With both having Louisiana roots and mothers who shared their love of food and hospitality, I truly felt like I was talking with family!


Chef Roslyn and Chef Edith are the subjects of the beautiful documentary God Bless the Cook, directed by Zoe Malhotra and Annalise Paszator and produced by Soraya Simi and Angela Webb-Pigg in conjunction with the University of Southern California.


Roslyn developed her passion for the culinary arts through her Mother’s long-standing career as a well-known celebrity caterer and hospitality connoisseur. Edith Bell, now 98, is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. It was in the crescent city she mastered the art of Creole cuisine. During the peak of Chef Edith’s catering career in California during the ’60s and ’70s, her A-list clients included Camille and Bill Cosby, Muhammad Ali, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Barbara Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and renowned talent agent, Sue Mengers.


Roslyn’s, extraordinary catering experiences while assisting her Mother with various events for some of these luminaries reinforced her passion for cooking. An engagement for Muhamed Ali was Rosylyn's first event in her Mother’s absence. “Next it was on to New York to cook for the Cosby’s where Roslyn learned her Edith was treated like culinary royalty when they were picked up in a [luxury car], Bently or Rolls Royce, and given the red carpet treatment. At the end of the evening, Chef Edith was applauded, cheered for awesome [hospitality] service”.


As a result of Chef Edith’s illustrious culinary experiences, Roslyn was able to take her first love of fine arts shines through her cake artistry and propelled Roslyn into a stellar culinary career of her own. Through a relationship cultivated with Camille Cosby, she was able to attend the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris, France. https://www.cordonbleu.edu/home/en Chef Roslyn began practicing and perfecting her culinary craft in Marina Del Rey at the Ritz Carlton.


Today she shares her vast culinary knowledge and talent with the students of LATTC. Chef Roslyn Spence, like her dear Mother, Chef Edith Bell, sets high expectations for her students to cultivate their budding talents and develop solid culinary careers. The signs in her kitchen, “Clean as you go.", and “Take pride in your work.", are testaments to Roslyn’s commitment to culinary excellence.


I highly recommend watching the documentary of the rich history of these two fantastic Black Women Chefs https://vimeo.com/334476997



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